This was a timeshare trade out for us.
Our unit is in Orlando, FL sleeps 8 and has three bedrooms.
Can't fault the hotel for the uneven trade of adjoining rooms, which I will describe later.
We drove in from a week on the East coast (Akumal) and arrived at 1400 on Saturday 27DEC08. The bell hop immediately grabbed all of our luggage, inspected our car for dents and parked it before we could enter the clean - smoke free - lobby. (signs everywhere stating no smoking).
The desk clerk was very friendly and pulled up our reservations immediately handing us the keys without much more than a signature.
When we got to our rooms we were a little disappointed that we had traded our huge place for adjoining hotel rooms. Nice, but basically hotel rooms all the same. One room had a king size bed, mini-fridge, satellite TV/DVD and standard hotel-type sink. The room was on the second floor overlooking the pool and the eastern part of downtown Merida. The bathroom looked a bit aged but the water pressure was great.
The adjoining room had a double pull down bed, mini-fridge, Sat TV/DVD and what we considered our "kitchen". A microwave, coffee maker, standard stainless steel kitchen sink and place setting for four people. This bathroom also looked a bit aged but was was clean with even better water pressure.
We unpacked and went downstairs to the restaurant for a wonderful early dinner, after stopping by the desk to request anextra bed for our son. The restaurant staff provided with tremendous service and spoke moderate english, (we spoke moderate spanish so all was well).
We then walked the area around the hotel and discovered that though the Merida streets were created very narrow in the 1850's the sidewalks were adequate and the traffic wasn't that bad for a city of almost a million people. Yes the streets are a bit dark, but each block had police so we felt very safe.
Right around the corner from the hotel, left as you leave, is the Univerisity of Yucatan which has a tremendous courtyard. A couple more short blocks and we were on to the main plaza square with vendors and touristas everywhere. As we walked back we picked minmal groceries and a couple jugs of water.
The wife and son went for a quick swim in the shaded pool. While my daughter and I relaxed in the room. Yes the hotel uses low output CF bulbs and the lighting isn't great, but it was fine for relaxing. Just needed our reasding lights for seeing our books.
The pool is located on the east side of the 15 story hotel and doesn't get much sun so there is a large sunning deck with an indoor grass carpet as the deck and tons of deck chairs. The sunning deck is a short climb up a single story sprial staircase and seemed well maintaiined.
We then settled in for a great night's sleep...at about 2130 we were shaken out of bed by what we thought were a group of drunks partying at the pool singing VERY LOUDLY. I got up to look down at an empty pool, so I called the front desk to inquire about when the bar closed. The desk clerk politely told me that the hotel doesn't have a bar, but the bar across the parking lot has an outdoor stage.
Now it was Saturday evening, the week before New Year's eve and if we didn't have 10 and 13 year-old children my wife and I would have probably just gone and joined the party. But after checking to see that the kiddos were sound asleep, we turned the AC fan on, covered our ears and went to sleep.
Unfortunately, the pounding bass guitar would have penetrated solid concrete walls...and easily went through the glass windows. The party didn't stop until I was 30 minutes into my work out in the fitness center - at 0430 !
I went down and requested a room on the other side of the hotel, but a cruise ship had checked in and was told that the only rooms available were not adjoining. At breakfast a Manager came up to us and apologized stating that they regularly contact the police and had spoken to the city to get the band stage relocated into the building, but unfortuantely wasn't much more they could do. So we settled into our room and figured that the weekdays would be better.
But let me tell you, the Merida people and the touristas are a partying lot ! The music started each night at 2130 and didn't stop until 0430. Fortunately the bands switched out and actually got a little better, or we were getting used to them...
As we left the hotel the next couple of days we noticed significant remodeling, or actually reconfiguring of the lobby. The staff were removing doors to the adjoining lobby ballroom in preperation for the New Year's eve partty. And what a party it was ! At least 400 people, a band (very good band), great food and cheap champagne. It was a great party that lasted, you guessed it until 0430. Our family had a great time and the staff was again tremendous.
After sleeping in until noon on New Year's day we went down for breakfast. By this time the staff recognized us, called us by name and knew how each of us liked our eggs. What a wonderful feeling of service and care !
The hotel is located in the heart of the city, walking distance to all the great museums and shops. For a different flavor, the Italian restaurant a block east fo the was great. The only thing we would suggest is to get a room on the west side of the hotel...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located at the historic center of Merida, the Gamma by Fiesta Inn Hotel, whose 10 floors and 153 rooms, presents an architecture that combines the colonial and modern style; inside, details and decor, invite you to spend some time relaxing, taking a break from modern life. The spacious rooms will make you feel relaxed, no matter whether these leisure or business making the perfect place to stay. The most representative cultural and architectural richness of Merida is in its historic center. A few steps from Gamma Fiesta Inn, you can admire our architectural, cultural and gastronomic richness that both identifies us. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Castellano Merida
- El Castellano Hotel Merida
- Hotel El Castellano